Being prepared for your child being ill

We all think very carefully about what we would do if we, or our partner, was seriously ill and had to lose time from work. Taking out insurance policies that allow us to be paid in the case of sever and serious accident or illnesses is now a part of our lives, and one which we prepare for. But what happens if it is not an adult who is ill, but one of our children. We are still affected in that we may need to lose a considerable amount of time from work, but we will not be able to claim for lost income, adding an additional worry at a time when we are already worrying enough. Although  your child is unlikely to ever suffer from a really serious illness, no one knows what the future may bring. If you have to stop working to care for your child, who is going to cover your bills?


Earlier this year I experienced just how difficult life can be when you are caring for a seriously ill child.  Joe was taken into hospital for a routine operation which turned out to be anything but routine. I knew he would have to be at home for two weeks, but complications meant that Joe spent almost six weeks at home. As I worked from home I spent my time looking after Joe, my husband couldn’t afford to take the time off too as we just wouldn’t have been able to pay the mortgage and other bills. But, because my work is freelance and I am self employed, I could not be in a position where I wasn’t working, so I found myself writing during the night, or when Joe fell asleep, when he wasn’t crying out in pain, or needing extra care and cuddles.  Even at night I would struggle, as Joe would get up to use the toilet throughout the night, a consequence of his medication to replace the iron his body had lost through heavy blood loss. It was a time filled with pain and worry, made worse by the constant thought of how I was going to reach deadlines and get work done, without literally driving myself into the ground.


What would’ve made life easier would’ve been if Joe’s dad had been able to take some time from work. But as the main breadwinner, this was not going to happen.  But being signed up to a scheme like ChildMax would’ve been a godsend at the at time. ChildMax is an insurance policy that will reimburse your take home salary for 12 months while you’re on unpaid leave caring for your child. Claim payments are also tax-free. You can choose a policy that will reflect the salary you want to protect, for example, a parent with 2 young children with a £1,800 take home salary per month would expect to pay £106 (Inc. IPT) for the annual insurance policy. If 1 young child, then expect to pay £61 for £1,800 take home salary. Either parent can take out ChildMax, this would’ve really been a big help to us if Pete would’ve able to take that time to help share the care for Joe. (You can find info on policies and applying here.)

Ultimately money does not make up for your child being ill. But if paying bills is one less thing to worry about, that can only be a good thing.


You can find out more about ChildMax through their Facebook page.

Getting more fruit into your diet.

I have a confession to make, I don’t eat anywhere near enough fruit. It’s not that I don’t like it, I actually love most fruit, strawberries being a particular fave, along with melon, grapes and oranges, but most days I eat zero fruit, which is neither good for me, or a good example to set for Joe. With this in mind I have been thinking of some practical ways to introduce more fruit into our diets.

Try Juicing

A great way of getting a variety of fruit into your diet is through juicing. You can use a whole range of different fruits, and the internet is literally full of recipes that can be used to address different health issues, as well as cater for your particular tastes. The latest Panasonic juicers can also be used to create frozen desserts and iced drinks which are great when the weather is warm, or if you are having guests over (frozen Pina Colada anyone?)


Carry fruit in your bag

How many people carry a bar of chocolate in their handbag in case they get a case of the munchies? I’m guessing that there are probably quite a few people reading this who are guilty of the fact. Swapping that piece of chocolate for an apple or a pear is a simple, effortless way to add fruit to your diet, and to make snacking in between meals guilt free.

Packed Lunches

Whether it be a school meal option for your little ones, or the packed lunch you (or your partner) takes to work, having fruit in your packed lunch is both healthy and filling. Make it a treat to be looked forward to by choosing a variety of different fruits – I love all types of melon, combined with mango, these are just lovely and refreshing. Kiwi Fruits are great too, as the skin keeps them protected in your lunchbox.


Have a fruit dessert

If you always follow a meal with a pudding or dessert, try adding a fruit salad or a fruit based sorbet rather than a stodgy cake or ice cream overload. Another delicious option, especially with children, is a fruit jelly. You can even pick these up on the go – Boots and Tesco both do a great raspberry option that is just loaded with berries.

How do you add fruit to your every day diet?